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Grace Vermeer

Honorable Mention 2010 Utmost Christian Poetry Contest $100

About this Christian Poet:
When I stopped trying to be the saviour of Vernon Street and started to look at my own brokenness, I began a journey toward change which also led me to writing and a love of poetry. I have three grown children and live in Sarnia, Ontario with my husband.

About this Poem:
This poem began as an exercise in writing a pastiche. Using one of Robert Bly's poems as a basis, I followed his style and structure and wrote a narrative poem of my own which gives a glimpse into my childhood.

Moving West

My brother, do you remember
the sun as it rose,
massive and golden in its red sky,
that morning we climbed into the Buick
and headed west toward Montana?

We were God’s favourite pilgrims,
leaving that coal mining town in Ohio,
pulling a trailer tied down with a canvas,
and we believed
our father’s hunger was over, almost.

We rolled down the windows,
grinned behind sunglasses,
you drummed on the dashboard,
I clapped with The Blind Boys—
This may be the last time,
            This may be the last time, children!

In Havre, we laughed at the tumbleweeds
caught in the wind, drifting
across the dry, thirsty land
We slept along roadsides,
ate our mother’s canned peaches—
This was Big Sky Country!

The Bitterroot Mountains
shimmered on the horizon.
We could already taste
the sweet manna of the next place,
and we believed
our father’s hunger was over, almost.

Copyright ©2010 by Grace Vermeer